Asensio.com Questions Eros International Plc’s (“EROS” or the “Company”) Audit Standards Amid Concerns Over its Reported Financials
asensio.com today released a letter to Grant Thornton International Limited (“Grant Thornton”) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”), along with two reports titled “Eros backs away from Skadden’s independent review” and “Eros’s ‘Dozen Unknown’ audited subsidiaries out earn ‘Big Name’ Grant Thornton “audited” parent.”
On November 2, 2015, Eros International declared that it would allow an “independent review” to be conducted by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (“Skadden”) into the public allegations made against EROS. Ultimately, on March 21, 2016, EROS unexpectedly announced that Skadden had not in fact conducted an independent review – instead there had been an “Internal review by the audit committee with the assistance of Skadden.”
asensio.com’s letter to Grant Thornton raises a number of concerns around the suitability of their member firm, Grant Thornton India LLP’s (“GTI”), “divided responsibility” audit process for EROS. Grant Thornton need only read the press to learn that Eros International has been openly called a “fraud story” and that GTI’s audit has been described as “mostly accounting fiction” created to “enrich its controlling family at the expense of shareholders,” ultimately making EROS’s equity “worthless.” Investor concern is centred around allegations that the Company overstated assets and understated expenses.
The PCAOB is cognisant of the inherent risks created by such divided responsibility audits and the related implications for public market investors. asensio.com has alerted the PCAOB to the facts related to GTI’s Eros International audit.
Furthermore, asensio.com has also launched two data rooms comprising regulatory filings and other publicly available information in an effort to enrich the public’s knowledge and understanding of the EROS situation.